Education ~ Lifelong Learning

Securing funding for educational improvements for 4200 keiki in K-12 has been a priority.

This is a “hot button” issue for me.  I have listened to the teachers, staff and principals of the 11 public schools in my district and then secured significant funding for urgently needed improvements both to facilities and supports for 21st century teaching for the more than 4,200 K-12 students in the district.

I have supported bringing “Early College” to the neighbor islands and will continue to advocate for re-introducing vocational programming for middle and high school students, as well as post-high school.  I also have helped secure funding for lifelong learning opportunities including reducing the cost of – and access to -- post-high school job training and professional development opportunities.  This includes funding for completion of the College of Pharmacy at UH-Hilo and the Palamanui campus. 

Most urgently, our communities, island and state need more and better early childhood programs and support for young families.  I am grateful to have one of our state’s leading early childhood advocates on my staff to ensure we pursue meaningful ways to give all children the best start possible. 

Above all, I deeply respect and appreciate the dedication of our public school teachers and staff and the tremendous challenges they face.  Thus, I have actively supported the proposed Constitutional Amendment that will appear on the 2018 General Election ballot to significantly improve funding for Hawai’i public schools by increasing the tax on investment residences.  Please vote YES – our children and teachers need and deserve this support. 

Public Schools In Senate District 4:

I have worked closely with school administrators, teachers, staff and families in my District, then secured the support of my colleagues to bring home the following for our children, teachers and staff:

Kalani’anaole Elementary School

$2 million for a needed covered play court/assembly area.

Laupahoehoe Public Charter School

$830,000 for tech video studio, additional classroom furniture, expansion of school garden and outdoor play area for preschoolers. 

Pa’auilo Elementary & Intermediate School

Honoka’a Elementary School

Honoka’a High & Intermediate School

$3 million for long-needed girls restrooms and covered walkways.

Waimea Elementary School

$1.5 million for student and family safety in front entry with paved parking, plus $1.6 million for additional parking for young families bringing keiki for preschool and parenting classes.  Parking to be shared with Waimea Middle School and adjacent post office.

Waimea Middle School

STEM $295,000 Grant In Aid for additional STEAM technology programs.

Kohala Middle School

  • $3.6 million to construct a new play court/assembly area.

Kohala High & Elementary School

$1 million to develop plans and design for a new gym.  construction of.  

Waikoloa School

Secured $13 million for a new classroom building and $1.9 million to purchase land for new public library in Waikoloa Village. 

Kanu o ka ‘Aina Public Charter School

Also, at Palamanui, secured $1.1 million for a new outdoor learning area and in 2017, secured $700,000 to plan, design and construct facilities for a construction trades apprenticeship program and creation of a physics lab.

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